Today’s featured review is for Lo & Behold by Wendy Mass. This review is part of the TBR & Beyond Tours blog tour for Lo & Behold. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to be a part of this tour.
I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Random House Children's Books, Random House Graphic on 05/02/2023
Genres: Middle Grade, Middle Grade / Fantasy, Middle Grade / Graphic Novel
Amazon US // Barnes & Noble // IndieBound
Can a virtual reality headset help change the way twelve-year-old Addie looks at things?
Introducing an unforgettable graphic novel about connection, friendship, and the wonder all around us from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Mass and debut illustrator Gabi Mendez.
When you’re named after a 250-year-old tortoise, you grow up believing life is full of possibilities and wonder. But ever since Addie’s family got turned upside down, those things have been harder for her to see.
The last thing Addie wants to do is make a new friend, but when her dad’s summer job takes them across the country, she meets Mateo and finds herself caught up in an exciting project. With the help of a virtual reality headset, she’s suddenly scaling castle walls, dodging angry kittens, and seeing the world in whole new ways. Plus, she has an idea that could be bigger than anything she’s imagined before, but can she right some wrongs first . . . or is it too late?
Content Warning: addiction, drug abuse, grief, mentions of children undergoing chemotherapy
When I decided to review this book, it was quite out of character for me. For one, I’m not a big fan of reading Middle Grade fiction. For another, I’m not a big lover of graphic novels. But when I read the description of Lo & Behold, I couldn’t help but feel like I should give it a try. I’m glad I did.
This graphic novel made me think. You never know what someone else is going through or what they’ve been through. Whether it is having to move across the country for a few months, losing friends, or losing a loved one, you just don’t know what might be behind the things another person says or does. Lo & Behold does a beautiful job of showcasing that.
One thing I thought was interesting was the actual placement in the book of Addie’s story about what happened with her mom. I’d have thought it would have come right in the beginning as an explanation of why it was that Addie and her dad were alone. But it doesn’t come at the beginning, it comes later. When it does come, it’s easy to understand why it wasn’t put at the beginning.
I also loved the use of tech in this graphic novel. Things I’d never have thought VR could do… and honestly, it’s pretty amazing (even if it isn’t real – or is it?). I loved the way the kids decided to use what they knew and what they were learning to help other kids.
I think this is a great book for middle grade kids and even older kids/adults to read. They can learn about grief, having empathy for others, and helping others. I gave this book 4.5 stars and highly recommend it.